An Unexpected Party

Seth Malacari (ed.)

An Unexpected Party
Fremantle Press
31 October 2023

An Unexpected Party

Seth Malacari (ed.)

Co-published by Get YA Words Out and edited by Seth Malacari, An Unexpected Party brings together the stories of emerging authors from the LGBTQIA+ community.

From fantastical realms to real-world struggles, this young adult anthology champions queer identity by challenging stereotypes and exploring the many facets of identity. Written with wit, heart and honesty, these stories take queer protagonists outside the box of YA romance and centre them at the heart of stories that involve magic, paranormal beings and adventure.

Featuring trans and gender-diverse voices - asexual, aromantic, bisexual and more - the stories in An Unexpected Party are as diverse as their writers.


An Unexpected Party is a deeply touching and heartwarming anthology exploring queer stories in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Featuring 19 unique stories by different authors, this anthology explores a diverse range of queer experiences in one volume, making it perfect for readers looking to find a story that connects with them.

Unfortunately, the majority of the queer YA published in Australia only features gay and lesbian characters. Seth Malacari, the collections editor, points out in the introduction that of the Australian YA books published in 2022, only 7 of them featured a gender-diverse main character. Reading that figure was horrifying to me, and so I was absolutely delighted to find that this anthology seeks to rectify this problem.

What made this anthology feel special to me is the stories it aims to tell. Not only does it feature a range of queer and gender-diverse characters, but it also features a wide range of different stories. Over the course of this anthology, demons are summoned, galaxies go to war, and the world as we know it ends.

Stand-out stories for me included ‘The Excursion’ by Seth Malacari, ‘Thicker than Water’ by A.R. Henderson, and ‘The Parade of the Weeds’ by Clover Lake.

I would highly recommend this anthology to all queer teens. To anyone who has ever struggled to find people like them in literature, check this out, and you might be able to find a story that resonates. I know I certainly did. For ages 14+.

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